Access Management

Entrance To a Highway

Request an entrance to the primary highway

Private property access to a primary highway or permits to construct an entrance to a primary highway can be applied for using our electronic permitting system.


Permit process

In Iowa, the permitting process is administered by the Iowa DOT's district offices.  Iowa is divided into six districts as shown below.  Each district has designated staff, known as engineering operations technicians or EOT’s, to assist applicants and review the requests for entrance permits.  Use the map below to find your district contact. The permit application must be approved before work may begin.  The approval process may include internal Iowa DOT review by different offices. Additionally, there may be requests for more information from the applicant.


About Access Management

Access roads

The efficiency and safety of a highway depends largely on the amount and character of interruptions to the movement of traffic. The primary cause of these interruptions is vehicular movements to and from business, residences and other developments along the highway. Regulation and overall control of highway access are necessary to provide efficient and safe highway operation and to utilize the full potential of the highway investment. Accordingly, the Iowa DOT has established an access management policy to control access to the Primary Highway System.

Access policy

In accord with Administrative Code 761 Chapter 112(306A)

The Access Policy guidebook contains the current administrative rules governing access to the primary highway system, and some illustrative examples of those rules.

The Access Management Manual contains guidance information to assist the public when requesting an access to the primary highway system

What is the meaning of the word Access?

Access means of ingress or egress between a primary highway and abutting property or an intersecting local public road or street. In lay terms, access is also defined as entrances or driveways from properties to a public road system.

What is Access Management?

A means to maintain the safe and efficient movement of traffic by controlling:

  • The design of accesses
  • The location of accesses
  • The number of access allowed

Why is Access Management needed?

The primary road systems serve two necessary but often conflicting functions:

  • Maintain the operational capacity, efficiency and functional purpose of the primary highway.
  • Manage how the public accesses land uses that are adjacent to a primary highway

What are the goals of Access Management?

Create a safer environment for the entire transportation network by:

  • Limiting the number of conflicts (accesses)
  • Separating potential conflict points
  • Removing or minimizing turning vehicles and queues from through traffic movements

What benefits are received from Access Management procedures?

The most important benefit of access management is providing a safer roadway and decreasing the number of severe crashes and congestion.

The traveling public receives operational benefits when conflicts points are minimized or separated, highway capacity is increased, delays are reduced and the free flow of traffic is expedited and the public investment made in the highway system is preserved.

Environmental benefits are also gained because vehicle emissions are reduced and fuel economy is increased.

How does the department control Access?

As provided in Iowa Code (306A) and Iowa Administrative Code (761/Chapter 112), the Iowa Department of Transportation was granted authority to manage access on "controlled access highways", which establishes that the "Department is authorized to design any controlled-access road and regulate, restrict, or prohibit access as best to serve the traffic for which such facility is intended," IC306A(4).

Jan Laaser-Webb, P.E.

Access program administrator
Leilah Armstrong


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